A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty It s and after the death of her mother year old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence a proper boarding school in England Lonely guilt ridden and prone to
  • Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
  • Author: Libba Bray
  • ISBN: 9780731814541
  • Page: 400
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty
    It s 1895 and, after the death of her mother, 16 year old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England.Lonely, guilt ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma finds her reception a chilly one She s not completely alone though she s being followed by a mIt s 1895 and, after the death of her mother, 16 year old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England.Lonely, guilt ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma finds her reception a chilly one She s not completely alone though she s being followed by a mysterious young man, sent to warn her to close her mind against the visions.It s at Spence that Gemma s power to attract the supernatural unfold, as she becomes entangled with the school s most powerful girls and discovers her mother s connection to a shadowy, timeless group called The Order.Her destiny awaits if only Gemma can believe in it.
    A Great and Terrible Beauty By Libba Bray,
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    About " Libba Bray "

  • Libba Bray

    What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer in headlights feeling It s not exactly like I m going to say I was born in Alabama and somebody s going to jump up and snarl, Oh yeah Prove it At least I hope not.I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor I could tell you the facts I lived in Texas for most of my life I live in New York City with my husband and six year old son now I have freckles and a lopsided smile I m allergic to penicillin.But that doesn t really give you much insight into me That doesn t tell you that I stuck a bead up my nose while watching TV when I was four and thought I d have to go to the ER and have it cut out Or that I once sang a punk version of Que Sera Sera onstage in New York City Or that I made everyone call me Bert in ninth grade for no reason that I can think of See what I mean God is in the details So with that in mind, here is my bio Sort of.TEN THINGS YOU DON T KNOW ABOUT ME by Libba Bray1 I lived in Texas until I was 26 years old, then I moved to New York City with 600.00 in my shoe cause muggers won t take it out of your shoe, y know riiiiight and a punchbowl my grandmother s gift under my arm I ended up using the punchbowl box as an end table for two years.2 My dad was a Presbyterian minister Yes, I am one of those dreaded P.K.s Preacher s Kids Be afraid Be very afraid .3 The first story I ever wrote, in Mrs McBee s 6th grade English class, was about a girl whose family is kidnapped and held hostage by a murderous lot of bank robbers who intend to kill the whole family including the dog until the 12 year old heroine foils the plot and saves the day It included colored pencil illustrations of manly looking, bearded criminals smoking, and, oblivious to the fact that The Beatles had already sort of laid claim to the title, I called my novel, HELP My mom still has a copy And when I do something she doesn t like, she threatens to find it.4 My favorite word is redemption I like both its meaning and the sound My least favorite word is maybe Maybe is almost always a no drawn out in cruel fashion.5 My three worst habits are overeating, self doubt, and the frequent use of the f word.6 The three things I like best about myself are my sense of humor, my ability to listen, and my imagination.7 I have an artificial left eye I lost my real eye in a car accident when I was eighteen In fact, I had to have my entire face rebuilt because I smashed it up pretty good It took six years and thirteen surgeries However, I did have the pleasure of freezing a plastic eyeball in an ice cube, putting it in a friend s drink, Eyeball in your highball and watching him freak completely Okay, so maybe that s not going down on my good karma record But it sure was fun.8 In 7th grade, my three best friends and I dressed up as KISS and walked around our neighborhood on Halloween Man, we were such dorks.9 I once spent New Year s Eve in a wetsuit I d gone to the party in a black dress that was a little too tight too many holiday cookies and when I went to sit down, the dress ripped up the back completely Can we all say, mortified The problem was, my friends were moving out of their house everything was packed and on a truck and there was nothing I could put on but a wetsuit that they still had tacked to the wall I spent the rest of the party maneuvering through throngs of people feeling like a giant squid.10 I got married in Florence, Italy My husband and I were in love but totally broke, so we eloped and got married in Italy, where he was going on a business trip We had to pull a guy off the street to be our witness It was incredibly romantic.

  • 285 Comments

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty is neither great nor beautiful, though it is indeed wait for it terrible.The characters are simple and one dimensional, their actions both petty and selfish I find it difficult to believe any one of the four girls at the heart of the story cared for one another, much less anyone else The story meanders, often digressing into lengthy passages that do little if anything to advance the characters or the story As the story progresses, drawing to its predictable and dissat [...]


  • This book is what it is a young adult novel.That said, it s a very good one You can read the summary on the book s page, so I won t go into that here.I loved the juxtaposition of Victorian England, colonial India, and the fairy world The protagonist doesn t belong in any of them, and she recognizes that, which sets up the whole story the outsider tries to find her niche.I didn t care for any of the other main characters, mostly because I felt that the protagonist, Gemma, was treading on thin ice [...]


  • I don t know why for so long I just assumed I wouldn t like historical fiction, it s not as if I don t love history I picked it for one of my A levels in college But, I guess it s just one of those genres that sounds tedious and you imagine it to be all oppressed sexuality and prim and properness Diana Gabaldon forever changed my mind with her oversexed and aggressive depiction of history and it was only a matter of time before I looked towards other works of historical fiction.This book is both [...]


  • Okay, so I was a little slow discovering this, but since Rebel Angels just came out, I figured I would read the first in the series first The novel can best be described as Gothic fantasy Lots of Victorian atmosphere and ruminations about the claustrophobic restrictions on women in that time period, combined with a good portion of magic and mystery I loved Bray s sense of humor It saved the novel from becoming top heavy or melodramatic The ending didn t quite work as well for me as the rest of t [...]


  • Shall I tell you a story A new and terrible one A ghost story Are you ready Shall I begin Once upon a time there were four girls One was pretty.One was clever.One charming, and one One was mysterious.But they were all damaged, you see Something not right about the lot of them Bad blood Big dreams Oh, I left that part out Sorry, that should have come before They were all dreamers, these girls.One by one, night after night,the girls came together And they sinned Do you know what that sin was Their [...]


  • Buddy Read with some amazing ladies and a traveling book, hosted by Julie over at Pages and Pens A Great and Terrible Beauty is exactly why I am scared to read earlier decade s published novels that I remember were super hyped and popular This also reads just like an early 2000s novel, with all the problematic content being there The basic premise of this book is a young girl named Gemma Doyle, is whisked away to a London boarding school after the death of her mother Before her mother s death, s [...]


  • 4.5 Libba Bray never seems to disappoint and this was no exception I really loved this one I love the time period and all the witchiness and the characters were awesome, it was great


  • Onvan A Great and Terrible Beauty Gemma Doyle, 1 Nevisande Libba Bray ISBN 689875347 ISBN13 9780689875342 Dar 403 Safhe Saal e Chap 2003


  • Don t you ever speak to me that way again, I snarl I am no longer content to be the scared, obedient schoolgirl Who are you, a stranger, to tell me what I can and cannot do Wow, this was such a pleasant surprise If you don t know, The Diviners by Libba Bray is one of my favorite books ever So you can imagine I had my doubts that a book written many years earlier by the author would live up to it.But A Great and Terrible Beauty was just so good I shouldn t have doubted Ms Bray It had so many grea [...]


  • 3.75 starsI went into this book knowing nothing about it except that it possibly had something to do with witches which in the end was incorrect I love that this is both historical and has magical elements, especially set at a boarding school, because the aesthetic and the setting of the book was really neat I also love that despite the time, Gemma is a feminist and has a lot of confidence However, I had problems with this book than I have praise I felt like Gemma was very gullible and foolish [...]


  • Series review video youtube watch v a2qPNUpdate 3 months after reading I m lowering my rating from 3.5 to 2.5 stars I ve finished the series and in books 2 and 3 I saw a few things to be problematic I don t know why I suddenly picked up on them, but in hindsight I realize that at least 2 things were present in the first book also the constant fat shaming of Ann, and the element of self harm that is not approached in any significant or respectful way As they were never fixed or redeemed in the se [...]


  • According to the author, this is a story about an English girl named Gemma who sees things A girl with a dead mother, a lot of guilt, strange friends and a mysterious destiny To me, it was a story about a strong willed teen who felt alone in the world I specifically used the word teen to denote a person whose life inexperience causes her to make impulsive decisions not all bad, mind you but implusive nonetheless.The story is set in Victorian era England, a period in time where a girl s greatest [...]


  • Why did I wait so long to read this Such a great adventure Strong, smart heroine with untapped magical potential Loved the historical setting, too Sign me up for the series 3


  • Review originally posted on my blog here jeansthoughts.wordpress.cThis is the first book I have read by Libba Bray who is, in fact, quite the prolific author and incredibly popular amongst fans of Young Adult literature My interest was peaked in Bray s writing after reading an article she had written here for EW Upon reading Bray s article I immediately ordered both A Great and Terrible Beauty and Beauty Queens by the author Seeing her discuss the influences and objectives of her young adult wor [...]


  • Mysterious Sexy Boy So Gemma, isn t it exciting to be attending your first Grateful Dead concert Gemma Doyle Yes, but Jerry Garcia has been actually dead for years MSB Not for the purpose of this review, he isn t Just go with it GD sniff sniff Hmmm what s that smell giggle And why am I suddenly craving pizza with chocolate giggle MSB Son of a bitch Gemma, that is second hand marijuana smoke If you inhale enough you will get super duper high and will enjoy this concert immensely For the love of g [...]


  • This is a young adult book, so I tried really hard to take that into consideration when judging it, but there are so many other, well done kid teen books out there that I feel OK about occasionally trashing one.It basically follows the same overdone storyline we ve all seen way too many times boarding school kids whose parents don t want them discover they have magical powers, and they go through the whole magic for good versus magic for evil struggle This one didn t work because there was nothi [...]


  • I picked this up after a friend kept talking about it in a GR group I belong to I m really glad I did pick it up I was sucked into the book from page 1 The author definitely has a way with words She painted such a vivid image of the surroundings that I felt as though I was there with the characters in the book.The plot moves very well, and there were a number of cliffhangers which kept me turning the pages There was a nice mixture of fantasy and realism, that made for a great read.I liked the ma [...]


  • Had I read Libba Bray s A Great and Terrible Beauty when I was 12 14 years old, this probably would have been close to a favorite of mine There s something about the way it is written Bray s exploration of insecurity, the quest of finding oneself, budding sexuality and subsequent doubt, yearning and curiosity, conflicts with family, struggling with authority, self image, etc that is absolutely perfect for Bray s young adult audience Please keep the genre in mind while you read perhaps then you w [...]


  • I got most of the way through this, and then found that I just didn t care I didn t care about the characters, the plot moved in fits and starts, the romance tension whatever it was supposed to be, with Kartik, just felt pasted on In conclusion, I basically ran out of give a damn.The writing is competent, in that it s all easy enough to read and understand, but given that the main character s voice wasn t convincing, even though she s the narrator, and the pacing felt jerky, the characters unsym [...]


  • This book is exceptionally okay It is like really, really, really, really okay I think it would be good and not so much okay if it started out less good in the beginning As it is, I felt like it had a lot of promise it didn t live up to But, it didn t exactly waste my time, either, so I can t really say I disliked it or anything It is just SUPER mediocre Almost good, it s so mediocre Even, throughout, I would think things were going somewhere, but instead things would kind of stay the same But, [...]


  • REVIEW OF THE GEMMA DOYLE TRILOGY AS A WHOLEI ve been putting of this series for a while since I only had the first book in the seriesever, I chose to buy them on my kindle too and since then I binge read the whole thing The first book, A Great and Terrible Beauty had me absolutely hooked from the first page However, in my opinion the series went downhill from each book after that The characters in this book were wonderful The main character, Gemma was a problematic teen who held power she didn [...]


  • I am not someone who can watch scary movies Now, I like scary movies not full of blood, but full of suspense but I have a problem in that I don t stop being scared when they re over Lady in White, What Lies Beneath My dad is a big Dean Koontz fan and so I read a book when I was younger It was so scary the walls even attacked people I couldn t walk down our narrow hallway without feeling scared Irrational Absolutely Why am I mentioning this Well, because this book had a touch of the supernatural [...]


  • WrensReads Review This series is one of my favorite Reviewing it will not do it justice Bray creates a world of dreams, wonder and magic With every thing beautiful, something dark, horrible and nightmarish comes forth Because what is light without the contracting dark Not everything that comes from dreams, wonder and magic is good though And not everything that is dark, horrible and nightmarish is bad So what can you trust The feeling in your gut The pull towards your deepest desire Is it truly [...]


  • I swiped this out of the classroom one day because I had lunch duty and my choices were A stare at the perpetual hacky sack game for 30 minutes or B read something As you can see, I didn t have much of a choice at all it was one of those Eddie Izzard Cake or death scenarios When I began the book, I was immediately hooked exotic locale, spirited protagonist, hint of the supernatural However, it was a case of infatuation at first sight that burned out rather quickly After finishing the book, I was [...]


  • First off, I want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR It s crazy because I started the New Year with a new book Anyway, I learned so much in my year of 2015 and can t wait to learn I read so many beautiful books that I may reread because MOST OF THEM WERE AWESOME 2016 is going to be an interesting year and I just want to thank all of my friends who are all awesome and make my day Whenever something horrible happens, I know that all of my friends will cheer me up Thank you to Aj and Rachel for your awesome su [...]


  • Update Third book sucks It appears that this book tends to polarize its readers There are as many haters of it as there are lovers I am one of those who happens to really like it I am a big fan of Victorian literature as well as the boarding school setting and it was a pleasure for me to delve into a world of this Jane Eyre ish teen drama There were many things that I found enchanting about this book First of all, I have to give Bray a special credit for choosing a rather original setting and is [...]



  • It s telling when most of the popular reviews of this book, positive as well as negative, contain some sort of disclaimer about needing to cut this book slack because it s a YA book But is a juvenile audience a legitimate excuse for juvenile writing The story is this It s 1895, and 16 year old Gemma Doyle s mother has just died a tragic and mysterious death in India Gemma, as a result, is shipped off to an England boarding school where rich young ladies and one scholarship student learn the impo [...]


  • This is a strong case of it s not you, it s me Even though this book is wonderfully written and deals with themes I m usually very interested in i.e the social position of women in the Victorian era , I never got fully invested in the story or the characters Maybe it was just the wrong time for me to read this October was a weird reading month for me , or maybe I would ve enjoyed this slightly if I were a little younger Either way, it was sadly just an okay read for me.


  • Pre review I want to read this book because I d heard good things about it, but after reading this review, I m not sure any.Note I read the Chinese translation of this book, and I m not sure whether the translator had mistakenly make the Main Character a young lady from the 1890s Victorian era sound like an air headed modern teenager, or was it Libba Bray s own fault for giving her own MC such kind of misplaced voice Actual review here I give this book a Nothing Special 1.5 starsWellA Great and [...]


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